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Opening | Feminist in Residence Exhibition: CLAW

Phase Four:
Feminist in Residence Exhibition: CLAW
May 10, 2017 - June 2, 2017
Opening Reception: 
Wednesday, May 10th, 6 - 8pm

Project For Empty Space
[at] Gateway Project Spaces
2 Gateway Center, Newark

Project For Empty Space’s inaugural GRAB BACK Feminist Incubator will conclude with a group exhibition, CLAW, featuring 2017 Feminists in Residence Marilyn Narota Gomez, Anna Ogier-Bloomer, Sahana Ramakrishnan, and Rosary Solimanto. The exhibition will open to the public, Wednesday May 10th, from 6 - 8pm, and be on view through June 2nd, 2017.

CLAW is an exhibition comprised of four independent projects that each address a unique and personal topic speaking to a wider phenomenon of female struggle and perseverance. Woven together, these projects address a larger issue of female invisibility. Artists created these works with the understanding that society’s lens doesn’t allow women to unravel; patriarchal structures continue to surprise that nuances and complexities of female identity without allowing them to exist in an agendized space of self-ownership. In this exhibition PES’s four artists in residence address and discuss their hidden identities; their navigation of physical and mental health issues; the trials, triumphs, and tribulations of having and raising children; the complexities of fighting gender binaries; and the perceived sense of safety or lack thereof. The very act of addressing these issues through visceral and blatant art objects and performance is a resistance to historical repression of female voice and agency.

In both its noun and verb form ‘claw’ is a cheeky nod to the contemporary association of females and felines. It is in this vein that claw has become synonymous with ‘GRABBING BACK,’ which in and of itself derived from the now infamous phrase ‘Grab them by the pussy.’ CLAW is representative of a culmination of feminist work that has been developing long before this contemporary moment.

In CLAW, artists Narota Gomez, Ogier-Bloomer, Ramakrishnan, and Solimanto, bring together a variety of disciplines that together both prod and reject the patriarchal systems that have done the same to women. Ramakrishnan's voyeurist series of intaglio prints create a magical myth-like narrative of sexual exploration, disability identity, gender roles and power dynamics. Ogier-Bloomer’s large scale photographs, pulled from two separate, but intimate series speak of the ‘behind closed door aspect’ of being a mother, breast feeding, postpartum, and survival of oneself. Solimanto focuses on disease and trauma in the form of performance and documentation, using self as a reference, as she lives with, and battles multiple sclerosis. Narota Gomez relishes the transformative power of perception when everyday domestic objects and environments are imbued with psychological tension, inviting us to pair familiarity with the uncanny, challenging social norms regarding beauty, gender, race and psychology.

About our Feminists in Residence:

Anna Ogier-Bloomer was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She holds an MFA in Photography & Related Media from Parsons School of Design, where she was awarded the Photography Department Prize in 2011. She received her BFA from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she was the recipient of the Yousuf Karsh Prize in Photography and a Dean's Travel Grant.

Marilyn Narota Gomez was born in Cali, Colombia, Marilyn Narota Gomez immigrated to New York City in 1991. She received her BA from Williams College (2006) and her MFA from School of Visual Arts (2016). She continues her interest in human behavior and interactions through sculptures, videos, and installations that challenge audiences to become immersed in dialogues about perception, multiculturalism and femininity.

Rosary Solimanto was born in New York. She received her BFA in English Literature and Fine Arts, from SUNY Albany in 2013, and received her MFA in 2015 from the SUNY New Paltz. She currently lives and works in Jersey City area.

Sahana Ramakrishnan was born in India and grew up in Singapore. After completing her BFA in Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015 she moved to Brooklyn, where she currently lives and works.

About GRAB BACK: PES Feminist Incubator Space

GRAB BACK: PES Feminist Incubator Space is an impromptu series of short-term residencies, happenings, conversations, performances, and public discourses focusing on the empowerment and freedom of women. Prompted by mainstream attention to what has become a normalized climate of hyper-misogyny, rape-culture, and dehumanization of women, GRAB BACK is a means of cultivating productive and critical intersectional dialogue and response to a violence against humanity.